Ranjit Rodricks asks Nisha to pen down a few personal words on her dear friend who passed away in London, yesterday. A MissMalini Exclusive!
“In Bombay’s downtown area, sensational full scale sketches dramatized M.F. Husain’s house. I had visited him a few times as he lived very close to my home and most often, they were art-related matters that I had popped in to chat with him about.
If I were to describe his work, I would say that every line of his art breathed and lived. He had a mastery over every brush and stroke with incredible line control, balance and boldness. He used expressive forms and color which came to define the epic scale of his monumental works.
Husain was arguably the most known artist on the culture firmament in India! Critics lauded and decried him and finally, he was herded out of his Motherland. The fact however remains for a collector, as the prevalent colloquialism goes, even a cursory line from his charcoal is to die for!
Some time ago he bemusedly related to me, “My friends sometimes regret that they are home when I drop in to visit them!” This was because, oftentimes, he would leave behind a sketch, when he found a locked door.
As for his own home, which I photographed a few times, it was a home that was unique amongst all artist’s homes and unique to the artist’s temperament and prolifically. In fact, it declared these statements upon every wall, door, ceiling and every facet that presented an inviting blankness to the artist’s ‘itch.’
Even though he was born a Muslim, a painting of Hanuman flew across his ceilings while his walls bore his gargantuan renderings of tigers, elephants and village belles carrying water sexily across a river bank.
I had always come away from his home feeling a sense of awe and privilege that I had visited a rare abode of a majestic artist.”